Businesses need to take notice of Google increasing its emphasis on paid clicks

March 8, 2017 – By Aaron Hockel for AltaVista Strategic Partners

What about the Google AdWords ad label changed?

The way Google denotes ads in search results has changed 11 times since 2007 and the most recent update is a significant one. The change, to a green border/text with a white background ad label, is designed to make ads appear more like organic results. Here is an example of the new label and how a paid ad appears in comparison to an organic result:

Google AdWords Ad Label Example

Does this change really matter?

What might seem like a small change, is actually a dramatic change and the biggest step yet by Google to make ads appear more like organic results. Considering the evolution of Google’s ad labels, the new ad label marks the most similar visual appearance for paid and organic results in AdWords history. Even compared to the previous ad label, pictured below, the change is striking:

Google AdWords keyword match types blog

Why did Google update the ad label?

Google has stated the reasons include simplifying the color scheme on mobile and making the pages more visually appealing. While both of those reason might be true, many marketers believe there is an additional underlying reason, and that is to make it harder for users to discern between paid and organic results. This would inherently boost click thru rates on paid ads (which drives Google AdWords revenue) and fits with Google’s recent trend of changes designed to monetize above the fold search results.

How should businesses respond?

For businesses already running Google AdWords, there are no major necessary actions. Continuing to take advantage of best practices, particularly the use of all available ad extensions to maximize your ad real estate, is the only necessary course of action. For businesses that are not using Google AdWords and rely entirely on organic search results, it might be time to consider a small investment in a paid search campaign. Google’s actions clearly indicate it is placing more emphasis on ads in terms of both placements, color scheme, and visibility. If ads begin to draw higher click thru rates, it means organic click thru rates will decline by default. A small exact match paid search campaign focusing on transactional keywords would be a great way to offset any declines in organic traffic.

Ready to launch a Google AdWords campaign for your business? The team at AltaVista Strategic Partners is a Certified Google Partner and offers a free 30 minute consultation to explain how Google AdWords work and if it is a great fit for your company and product. Schedule your consultation today by filling out the contact form on this page, calling us at 1-800-313-2168, or by sending us an email.

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